Iran Deal: “Time to Finish the Job”

On the radar: US Wendy Sherman on Iran Talks; Consequence of no deal; Stepped up efforts; Congress’ waivers; Navy jittery about $100 billion sub plan; Sen. Rand Paul on Iran; and an Explosive YouTube channel.

October 24, 2014 | Edited by Will Saetren and Jacob Marx

US Sherman - There remains “much hard work to be done,” for securing a nuclear agreement with Iran, said Under Secretary Wendy Sherman in remarks at CSIS yesterday. “As we approach the November 24th deadline, the valuable safeguards included in the Joint Plan of Action are still in place. Our goal now is to develop a durable and comprehensive arrangement that will effectively block all of Iran’s potential paths to fissile material for a nuclear weapon.”

--“Make no mistake. Developing a consensus on a comprehensive plan will require some extraordinarily difficult decisions and we should all appreciate that. This negotiation is the very opposite of easy. But the potential benefits are quite extraordinary.”

--“The world will decide to suspend and then lift nuclear-related sanctions only if and when Iran takes convincing and verifiable steps to show that its nuclear program is and will remain entirely peaceful. That is a reasonable standard that Iran can readily meet. It is the standard that Iran must meet. And it is the key to ending Iran’s international isolation.”

--”If Iran truly wants to resolve its differences with the international community and facilitate the lifting of economic sanctions, it will have no better chance than between now and November 24th. This is the time to finish the job.” Full remarks here.

--How it played: “A Failure of the gridlocked nuclear negotiations with Iran will lead to a dangerous escalation by both Tehran and the West, America's lead negotiator warned Thursday,” writes Paul Richter in the Los Angeles Times.

Why a deal matters - “The leading nations of the world are capable of reaching a deal with Iran by next month’s deadline that would be far better for Israel than the alternatives, former US Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat told The Jerusalem Post.”

--“No deal is not a success, because it means an unrestrained use of centrifuges, the Iranian plutonium plant at Arak continuing, no intrusive inspections, no elimination of 20-percent enriched uranium, and less likelihood of eliminating weaponization,” Eizenstat said. Read the full story here.

Stepped-up effort - “The Obama administration is promoting a possible nuclear agreement with Iran to allies, Congress and U.S. policy makers in an effort to win support ahead of a late November deadline.” As the talks make headway and deadline is exactly a month away, “The White House has… decided to begin more aggressively outlining to various partners the contours of a prospective deal with Tehran, and its potential merits,” report Jay Solomon and Carol E. Lee for The Wall Street Journal.

--“This is a period of heightened activity. And it’s a chance to level-set people on where we are,” said a senior U.S. official. “There’s a stepped-up effort to show people what this deal might look like.” Read the full story here.

Undercutting a deal - With only a month to go until the November 24 deadline for concluding nuclear negotiations with Iran, some in Congress are venting about the President using waiver authorities to implement the first stages of a deal with Iran. In fact, “on successive occasions, Congress made sure the president was well-equipped to suspend sanctions should a nuclear deal ever emerge from negotiations,” writes Tyler Cullis in Roll Call.

--“The reason is clear: Suspending but not lifting the sanctions gives the White House the time to test Iran’s compliance with the terms of a nuclear deal and to instill confidence in Iran’s intentions before repeal. Should Iran fail to adhere to its nuclear-related obligations, the president can quickly reassert sanctions pressure and force Iran into compliance. This is not just the policy; this is the right policy.” Read the full story here.

Tweet - @plough_shares: 37 Organizations support an #IranDeal. Read their letter to #Congress in favor of diplomacy with #Iran:

Running scared- The Navy is worried about finding congressional support for the Ohio-Class replacement submarine. Speaking at the Naval Submarine League's annual symposium yesterday, “no less a figure than the Chief of Naval Operations, a submariner himself, said he had hard work ahead to sell the expensive program on Capitol Hill. Outside the New England delegation...'we don’t have [enough] people who are our advocates that will say, ‘Listen, we’ve got to get this thing going,’” Adm. Jonathan Greenert said.” Sydney Freedberg has the full story in Breaking Defense.

Quote - “In light of the new threat posed by ISIS, I believe it is even more imperative that Tehran and Washington find an effective diplomatic solution for limiting the Iranian enrichment program. A nuclear armed Iran would only further destabilize a region in turmoil,” said Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) in a foreign policy speech yesterday at the Center for the National Interest. Full remarks here.

Tweet - @cirincione: World publics see nuclear weapons as one of greatest dangers to the world. They got that right.

Quick Hits:

--“How much would you borrow to buy something that you would never used and might kill you and everyone around you?” Read the full story on “Obama's $1 trillion broken promise” by Jason Stratford in Delmara Now.

--“Stopping a Nuclear Nightmare: How We Can Secure Loose Nuclear Materials,” by Kenneth Luongo in The National Interest.

--“This is the roadmap for closing a nuclear deal with Iran,” by Steve Levine in Quartz.


--"Preventing Nuclear Terrorism Globally: Results and Remaining Challenges," featuring Deepti Choubey. Oct. 29, 9:00 -11:00 a.m. at the Foreign Policy Institute,1717 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Room 500, Washington. Register online.

--"US-Iranian Religious Leaders’ Dialogue: The Relevance of Moral Questions Related to Nuclear Weapons." Featuring John Steinbruner of the University of Maryland; Richard Pates from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; and Stephen Colecchi from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Wednesday October 29, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Sponsored by Arms Control Association. located at the Carnegie Endowment, Choate Room, 1779 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Washington, DC. RSVP online.

--“A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities,” featuring David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security and George Perkovich of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Thursday, October 30 from 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. at AEI located on the 12th floor of 1150 17th Street, Washington, DC, 20036. Register online

--"Challenges in Nuclear Verification: The IAEA’s Role on the Iranian Nuclear Issue," Featuring Yukiya Amano, Director General of the IAEA. Friday October 31 from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00p.m. Located at the Brookings Institution, Falk Auditorium, 1775 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington. RSVP online.


“Bringing Hollywood to history” - “If you saw the recent remake of Godzilla, you saw stock footage from Atom Central, known on YouTube as ‘the atomic bomb channel.’ Atom Central is the brainchild of Peter Kuran, an expert on archival films of the atmospheric testing era of 1945 to 1963…He literally wrote the book on ‘How to Photograph an Atomic Bomb,’ published in 2006, which tells the stories (and shows the work) of the photographers who documented atomic bomb tests.”